Questions have been raised about the relationship between Celine Dion and Pepe Munoz, the 34-year-old backup dancer who has seemingly been her constant companion in recent months.
With British tabloid reports alleging romance between the 50-year-old Canadian singer and the “toyboy” 16 years her junior, Dion confronts the rumours during an interview with British talk show “Lorraine”.
According to Dion, she has remained “single” since the 2016 death of husband Rene Angelil at age 73, and insists she and the Spanish-born dancer are just friends.
“Yeah, there’s another man in my life, but not the man in my life,” Dion tells interviewer Dan Wootton.
“We bonded right away as friends, it evolved… but let’s not mix everything,” she says of Munoz.
Despite her denial of romance, Dion admits she can see why people might make that assumption.
“I don’t mind [the reports] because he’s handsome and he’s my best friend. When I say I am single, please leave me alone,” she continues. “We’re best friends. Of course, we hug and hold hands and go out, so people see that. I mean, he’s giving me his hand to go out.”
During the interview, Dion also addresses son Rene-Charles, 18, and eight-year-old twins Eddy and Nelson, admitting she’s having a tough time wrapping her head around the fact that her eldest child is now 18.
“Yeah, 18. I can’t believe it,” she says, adding, “For his 18th birthday I said I’m so proud of him, he’s so athletic, the girls are starting to come now, do I have a choice?”
Dion also says that she’s “coping very well” with raising her children as a single mom “because that’s life and that’s normal. I know [Rene] is well taken care of from above, his dad is sending good energy and I told him I will always have my heart in my hand for him to hold on to.”
In addition, Dion opens up about her late husband, and the connection she still feels with him.
“Knowing that now he’s in peace and is resting and is always within me,” she explains. “I see him every day through the eyes of my children. He gave me so much strength.”